[Number 2 in a series]
There are two types of people who are guaranteed to be failures – those who cannot give orders and those who cannot obey orders. While we usually think of leadership as being the person in charge who is giving the orders and directions, a leader must also be able to follow the orders of others.
Everyone – no matter what their station in life may be – will have others both above him and below him. The ranking is constantly changing, and you may well be giving orders to and following orders from the same person at the same time. Although we are using the word “orders” for these discussions on leadership, we are using that word to describe human interaction. The “orders” may be responding to a request from your wife as to which color dress you prefer she wear, “ordering” a meal at a restaurant, or literally ordering men into combat.
While few men have ever held the position of power that Robert E. Lee held, he still took his orders from others. He obeyed the commands of his president – Jefferson Davis, and more importantly, the commands of God. Lee understood better than most men that submission to the authority of God, and to those whom God has placed in positions of authority, was a big part of what defines an honorable man – a Southern Gentleman.
- Leadership means being able to give orders.
- Leadership means being able to obey orders.